The nature of academic communication is very similar to the applied study of an instrument. As a performance major, you have studied your instrument under a variety of musicians. You have been influenced by their creative approaches to interpretation, technique and performance. You have also drawn creative ideas from master classes and performances (live or recorded).
Your individual style is not only a synthesis of these voices but also includes your unique interpretation as you respond to these ideas. When you perform, you do not acknowledge these influences by interrupting your piece with citations. However, on your resume and in personal interviews you are likely to give credit to these influences.
Academic writing also involves a synthesis of ideas. When writing about any topic, it is important to ask the following questions: What has already been said about this topic? Who are the experts in this area? How do their perspectives relate to one another?
It is just as important as you reflect on these perspectives to develop your own "voice" or creative interpretation and ideas about the topic. Writing provides the opportunity to give credit to the source(s) of the ideas you discuss in your papers.
Plagiarism results from not giving credit to these sources and/or presenting their ideas as your own. A variety of services and resources are available to help you avoid plagiarism by understanding proper citation techniques and the value of honest communication in the academic world. Resouces for faculty members on how to address plagiarism in the classroom are also included in this guide.
What is Plagiarism?
According to Case's Academic Integrity Policy:
"Plagiarism includes the presentation, without proper attribution, of another's words or ideas from printed or electronic sources. It is also plagiarism to submit, without the instructor's consent, an assignment in one class previously submitted in another."
All of the following practices fall under the definition of plagiarism:
- Quoting phrases/sentences/paragraphs from a source in your paper without using quotes and providing a citation.
- Paraphrasing an idea from a source without a citation
- Using statistics or facts from a source (outside the realm of common knowledge) without a citation.
Resources for Students
- CWRU Writing Resource Center. Take advantage of Case's Writing Resource Center. Staff are available to personally assist with any question or project you have.
- Avoiding Plagiarism (Purdue)
- Understanding Plagiarism Tutorial (Prentice-Hall)
- St. Martin's Tutorial on Avoiding Plagiarism
- WSU Plagiarism Information Site
- Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World edited by Lise Buranen and Alice M. Roy. Kelvin Smith PN167.P47 1999 and online through NetLibrary.
- Crisis on Campus: Confronting Academic Misconduct by Wilfried Decoo. Available online.